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by alkin

System Center Advisor Changing the upload frequency

11:36 am in Uncategorized by alkin

Most of the configuration like changing upload frequency is done in the registry.

The registry keys for the gateway are stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\SystemCenterAdvisor\Gateway and the registry keys for the agent are stored in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SystemCenterAdvisor\Agent. If you change anything in the registry keys you will have to restart the System Center Management services on the agent and the System Center Advisor Gateway services on the gateway server.

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By default the gateway only uploads once a day to the Advisor cloud services. Now for demo purposes I’m going to change it to every 12hours.

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Have a look at the following site http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/advisor/ff962521.aspx that describes all the registry keys.

 

Thanks,

Alexandre Verkinderen

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by alkin

System Center Advisor configuring data upload

11:39 am in Uncategorized by alkin

By default, Advisor will enable the gateway to automatically upload collected data from your server to Advisor.

To disable automatic data upload, add the following registry entry:

Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCenterAdvisor\Gateway\
RegEntry name = BlockUpload
Entry type = REG_DWORD

To enable automatic data upload, remove the above registry entry (if present).

The collected data from agents can be accessed on the gateway machine in the folder located at: <GatewayDataRoot>\Mailboxes, where <GatewayDataRoot> is the value of the registry key located at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCenterAdvisor\Gateway. The data is stored in a folder specific to each agent, and named after the ID of the agent. This data will be removed from the directory after upload to Advisor by default, or if specified, will be archived for a period of time as specified by in the Archive Period registry key in the same location. The agentID value for a given agent can be found in the following registry entry on the machine running the agent:

Key = HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SystemCenterAdvisor
RegEntry name = agentID
Entry type = REG_SZ

By default, Advisor will enable the agent to automatically transfer locally collected data to your gateway.

To disable automatic data upload, add the following registry entry:

Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCenterAdvisor\Agent\
RegEntry name = BlockUpload
Entry type = REG_DWORD

To enable automatic data upload, remove the above registry entry (if present).

 

thanks,

Alexandre Verkinderen

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by alkin

Using System Center Advisor Management Packs in OpsMgr

6:59 am in Uncategorized by alkin

System Center Advisor has some extra management packs that are not available for OpsMgr.

The full list of data points collected by the agent is available for download here, from the Microsoft Download Center, in an Excel spreadsheet.  For example, included in this list are properties about SQL Server like data from SERVERPROPERTY, sys.databases, and sys.configurations.

I think it’s a shame we don’t have those extra rules and monitors in the OpsMgr MP’s so I wanted to have those extra checks in my OpsMgr environment by importing the Advisor management packs! Let’s see if this will work!

You can find all Advisor management packs on the gateway in C:\Program Files\System Center Advisor\GatewayData\Content

 

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Just copy those Advisor MP’s to your Opsmgr box and import them:

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Once imported you will all those extra checks in your OpsMgr environment.

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And alerts are starting coming in that you didn’t get before:

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Thanks,

Alexandre Verkinderen

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by alkin

System Center Advisor Part 2 Installation

9:59 am in Uncategorized by alkin

In the previous blogpost I gave you a short overview of System Center Advisor. Let’s have a look at the installation of System Center Advisor.

The installation is straight forward and easy.

Advisor System Requirements

At this moment Advisor will analyzes only the following workloads:

  • Windows Server 2008 and later:
    • Active Directory
    • Hyper-V Host
    • General operating system
  • SQL Server 2008 and later
    • SQL Engine

For SQL Server, the following 32-bit and 64-bit editions are supported for analysis:

  • SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Standard
  • SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Workgroup
  • SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Web
  • SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Express

In addition, the 32-bit edition of SQL Server is supported when running in the WOW64 implementation.

 

Advisor Installation

 

First logon www.systemcenteradvisor.com with your LiveID.

If you haven’t already installed an Advisor gateway the webconsole will prompt you to install one.

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Follow the steps as described below:

First download the certificate and remember the location where you saved it. We will need this later on.

Next download the sofware.

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In the directory where you downloaded the on-premise software, double-click AdvisorSetup.exe to launch the setup.

  1. Click Next on the Welcome page of the Setup wizard.

  2. Accept the license agreement, and then click Next.

  3. Enter the location where you want to install the on-premise software. By default, this location is %ProgramFiles%/System Center Advisor. Click Next.

  4. Select Gateway to install the gateway on this computer. You can also select Agent to install both the gateway and the agent. Click Next.

  5. A message is displayed about opening port 80 for communication with the agent. If you click Yes, the port is opened by the Setup program. If you click No, you are returned to the previous step. You cannot install the gateway without opening this port.

SNAG_Program-0253

On the Gateway Settings page, browse to the location where you downloaded the security certificate. Select the security certificate (RegistrationCert.pfx), and then click OK

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If needed you can specify a web proxy so that the gateway can communicate with the Cloud service./

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The connection to Advisor is verified. If the connection can be verified, the gateway is registered with the Web service. If registering the gateway fails, you can continue with installation but will need to manually register the gateway.

A new service will be added on your Windows Server that will handle the communication with the Advisor Cloud service.

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And a new EventLog as well that will help you debug any communication issues

SNAG_Program-0267

If you already had a SCOM agent installed it will now be configured to operate multi-homed and talk to two management groups:

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Once the gateway and the agents are installed they will show up in the webconsole but that can take some time:

image

 

Thanks,

Alexandre Verkinderen

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by alkin

System Center Advisor Part 1 Overview

9:25 am in Uncategorized by alkin

Hi All,

I’m going to start posting a series of blogposts regarding System Center Advisor (formerly project Atlanta).  System Center Advisor is a new cloud based offering of Microsoft that will monitor your environment (at this point only Windows Server and SQL server). Advisor will be the connection between your servers and Microsoft support services.

 

It’s very important to know that Advisor is not a REAL TIME MONITORING solution!!     You don’ t have:

  • real time monitoring
  • Real time alerting
  • real time notification
  • Reporting
  • Monitoring of LOB
  • ETC

Once a day the alerts will be send from the gateway to the Cloud service where you will be able to analyze it with the webconsole.

 

Architecture:

When we look at the architecture of Advisor we have gateways and Agents. In your datacenter you will have to install an Advisor gateway that will upload once a day the collected data to the cloud, on your servers you want to monitor you need to install agents that will communicate with the gateway on port 80. By default each agent uploads CAB files to the gateway twice per day. The size of the CAB files depends on the configuration of the machine (such as number of SQL engines and number databases) and the health of the machine (e.g. the number of alerts generated). In most cases, the daily upload size is typically less than 100 KB.

 

Advisor leverages Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent and Management Pack technology and can run side by side with OpsMgr. When you install an Advisor agent on a computer that has a System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 agent installed, the Health Service will be configured to run in multi-homing mode so that existing Operations Manager management groups are not impacted.

 

Once the data has been uploaded, the Advisor cloud service will analyze the data and make it visible in the Advisor webconsole to you and to Microsoft CSS. The collected data is uploaded and archived on-premise for 5 days by default.

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Rules and monitors are finetuned and updated by Microsoft and periodically downloaded to the gateway.

RoadMap and Licensing

System Center Advisor will be free as a benefit for customer who has Software assurance.

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In the next post I’m going to describe the installation process of System Center Advisor.

 

Thanks,

Alexandre Verkinderen

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